1.45 Million Foreign Workers Approved And Working In Malaysia

The government assures that the proposed realignment of foreign worker management functions in Malaysia led by the Ministry of Home Affairs as the main custodian and the role of the Ministry of Human Resources from the aspect of compliance to labor policy, determination of quota eligibility and finalisation will not affect the stakeholders.

During a press briefing, both Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution and Human Resources Minister V Sivakumar said stakeholders such as employers, industries, associations, and foreign workers do not need to worry about the policy change which is expected to start on January 15, 2023, as the alignment will not affect the procedure and flow chart of the existing foreign worker employment application as the focus is more on the alignment of governance or management of foreign workers.

Both Ministries also responded to the industries’ complaints of bureaucracy and agreed on the proposal to relax the conditions and procedures for foreign worker quota applications to their optimal level in order to balance the needs of economic development with the interests of national security. The relaxation will include efforts to facilitate the evaluation of qualifications to employ foreign workers, research on the conditions of quota approval, immigration process, and security screening.

As of end December 2022, the Home Minister said there are 1,459,196 foreign workers holding Temporary Work Visit Passes in Malaysia with the manufacturing sector recording the highest number of foreign workers at 538,148 followed by the construction sector at 315,932, and services at 221,621. This figure also includes 316,446 new foreign workers employed in 2022.

The three highest nationalities of foreign workers in Malaysia are Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal. In 2022, the Government approved a total of 676,070 foreign worker quotas from 1,606,724 applications. Of the total approvals, a total of 635,234 quotas have been levied. Of the total quota that has completed levy payment, the number of quotas that have applied for Visa With Reference (VDR) is as much as 463,255 and the number approved is 452,963 people.

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